Federal Office for Information Security
The Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (abbreviated BSI - in English: Federal Office for Information Security) is the German government agency in charge of managing computer and communication security for the German government. Its areas of expertise and responsibility include the security of computer applications, critical infrastructure protection, Internet security, cryptography, counter eavesdropping, certification of security products and the accreditation of security test laboratories. It is located in Bonn and has over 400 employees. Its current president, since 16 October 2009, is mathematician Michael Hange, who took over the presidency from Dr. Udo Helmbrecht.
BSI's predecessor was the cryptographic department of Germany's foreign intelligence agency (BND). BSI still designs cryptographic algorithms such as the Libelle cipher and initiated the development of the Gpg4win cryptographic suite.
The BSI has a similar role as the
- Computer Security Division (CSD) of Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) of NIST (United States)
- Security and Privacy (SP) Branch of the former CCTA (United Kingdom)
- The National Institute of Communication Technologies INTECO (Spain)
Unlike those organizations, BSI is focused on IT-security rather than being part of an organisation with a more general IT-standards remit. BSI is separate from Germany's signals intelligence, which is part of the military and the foreign intelligence service (BND). However, it is unknown whether there is still some form of informal cooperation between the BSI and the BND.
According to various news reports[not in citation given] German signals intelligence conspired with the United States' NSA to weaken Swiss cryptographic equipment made by Crypto AG. This allegedly[according to whom?] allowed western intelligence to read the secret communications of countries like Libya and Iran.
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